Takahiro Miyashita is a man obsessedwith Johnny Cash. He called his new collection "Love, God, Murder," after Johnny's 2000 triple set. He also equated it with the second installment of a two-CD set, following on as it did from his Spring show, with its Cash 'n' Cobain subtext. The Man in Black is a strong theme (the blasted soul in search of redemption isn't an obvious reference point for men's fashion), and Miyashita played it to the hilt.
The militarism that is one of the season's subtexts made its presence felt in side-buttoning trousers, balaclavas, and officer's coats, but the shaggy-haired, vacant-eyed models had the look of hell-haunted deserters rather than heroes of the battlefield. And Miyashita kitted them out for their trek back to Cold Mountain with layers of patchwork checks, felted wools, and graded grays. Cash croaking "Personal Jesus" was the cue for a black-clad cavalcade of defrocked preachers (the big hats were straight out of The Night of the Hunter), while Willie Nelson's "Highwayman" was the sound track for knee-boots with jacquard trim and the jabot that adorned a white shirt.
Miyashita is a designer in love with texture. That much is obvious from his treatment of skinswashed, waxed, turned inside out. But for his devotees, the real appeal of his work lies in the way he surrenders to his romantic vision of a wild and glamorous West. If there was a nightclub in Deadwood, the clientele would be wearing Number (N)ine.